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  • Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
    Hi Paul,

    Your post #927 can be turned on its head.

    Was the 'private information' real or not? You have to make a good case for it being real, and you haven't done that.

    Now, I neither believe nor disbelieve the accuracy and truthfulness of Macnaghten. I am simply trying to treat a potentially valuable historical source fairly, trying to assess what the source tells me, and trying to decide whether it's trustworthy or not.

    You, on the other hand, have decided on no evidence whatsoever that the 'private information' was real. Why? Because you desperately want it to be real so you can keep one of Ripperology's sacred cows from the slaughterhouse.

    Regards,

    Simon
    Hi Simon,
    What you say might be true if I was making a case for the 'private information' being true and if I had decided that the 'private information' was real, but I haven't done either of those things.

    And you might be right if Trevor was trying to treat a historical document fairly, but he isn't. He has decided that the 'private information' isn't real, he has stated that the memoranda isn't worth the paper it is written on, and he has advocated it being dumped in the rubbish bin, but he hasn't provided anything approaching a persuasive argument for doing that.











    Comment


    • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
      Interesting discussions in those links. There's a specific term "sexual mania" used to refer to sexual excitement associated with violence, and then there's the broader umbrella term "sexually insane", which would include, but not be limited to, sexual mania. So, if McNaughten had information, or rumor, of something that hinted at what might have been one form of sexual insanity for MJD, and given it's likely he considered JtR to suffer from sexual mania, he may have assumed those with one form of sexual "insanity" are more apt to also have another. That's not a safe inference, but I could see someone of that era making that leap.

      Now, sexual insanity seems like it might have been a term that would be applied to anything considered deviant at the time. Hence the usual speculations about whether or not MJD was homosexual, or a pedophile, etc as a reason for losing his teaching job.

      But, what if the private information, which concerns the passing on of the family's supposed suspicions that MJD was JtR, also included information of something the family knew, and had just discovered, about MJD, which also formed in part the basis of their worries about him possibly being JtR? It could be something quite different from MJD being homosexual, for which there is nothing but speculation. He wasn't married, but that's hardly proof he was homosexual (in fact, I believe many homosexuals were apt to marry to assist in hiding that very fact - but of course not all would). Anyway, I was thinking that if when MJD's brother found his suicide note, he might have found something else too. Maybe a collection of pornographic postcards, and MJD being an unmarried heterosexual male, perhaps frustrated one at that, may have developed a taste for such things. These could also have been found at his work, resulting in his dismissal, and a collection of such things would also be something that McNaughten could later "destroy". If a collection of pornography was considered evidence of sexual deviance, MJD becomes alleged to be sexually insane (and if it was a large collection then one might change their mind and consider alleged to be not strong enough). Finding this might have disturbed his family enough to wonder what other secrets MJD might have had, and given his suicide, worried that he might have been connected to the JtR murders.

      Yes, I'm widely speculating here. And no, I don't think the above should be viewed as anything other than a "what if" story. However, I present it only as a possible counter-"what if" story to MJD being homosexual, for which there is as little evidence. Also, even though the above is a work of fiction, it might describe the general gist of things, in that something that qualified as "suggesting sexual insanity" in a broad sense being discovered (signs he was chronically masturbating, for example, though I would doubt that given he also sounds like he was suffering from depression, so sexual drive would likely be down - the above pornography collection having been assembled prior to his depressive episode would still exist though) could lead a distraught family to imagine other distressing possibilities.

      - Jeff
      The terms "What if`s"/"Maybe`s", and "I think" all form a big part of modern day Ripperolgy and they do more harm than good

      www.trevormarriott.co.uk

      Comment


      • Originally posted by PaulB View Post

        Hi Simon,
        What you say might be true if I was making a case for the 'private information' being true and if I had decided that the 'private information' was real, but I haven't done either of those things.

        And you might be right if Trevor was trying to treat a historical document fairly, but he isn't. He has decided that the 'private information' isn't real, he has stated that the memoranda isn't worth the paper it is written on, and he has advocated it being dumped in the rubbish bin, but he hasn't provided anything approaching a persuasive argument for doing that.
        I havent said that it isnt real, I have said all along that is it unsafe, and not worth the paper it is written on from an evidential perspective, nothing should be discarded in the way you describe.

        There are however so many errors in the MM that support what I say

        www.trevormarriott.co.uk

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

          The terms "What if`s"/"Maybe`s", and "I think" all form a big part of modern day Ripperolgy and they do more harm than good

          www.trevormarriott.co.uk
          Yes. What I was trying to demonstrate is that a lot of "what ifs" are possible, so there's no reason to presume any particular one of them. However, just because we don't know what it is doesn't mean there wasn't something passed on to McNaughton, but at the same time, it might also have just been a bunch of dirty photos or some other such thing that really would not tie him to the JtR murders. It's so wide open in terms of possibilities, I really can't see a safe way forward unless other evidence comes to light.

          - Jeff

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

            I havent said that it isnt real, I have said all along that is it unsafe, and not worth the paper it is written on from an evidential perspective, nothing should be discarded in the way you describe.

            There are however so many errors in the MM that support what I say

            www.trevormarriott.co.uk
            Trevor,
            The memoranda is evidence of what Macnaghten believed as of February 1894, it is evidence that he believed there were 'many circs' which made Kosminski a good suspect, it is evidence that he believed there was 'private information' implicating Druitt, and it is evidence that Macnaghten was persuaded by that 'private information' that Druitt was Jack the Ripper. So if the memoranda has no evidential value and isn't worth the paper it's written on, what does that say about the reality of the 'private information'?

            If there was private information implicating Druitt, then Druitt was a suspect (in the non-police jargon sense). And since you have absolutely no idea what the 'private information' was, you can't even begin to judge it's worth, and if you don't know whether it was good or bad evidence or not, you can't say it's undafe to rely on or worthless.

            So what are you saying? Either the 'private information' implicating Druitt existed and Macnaghten really believed Druitt was Jack the Ripper, in which case the memoranda is worth the paper it's printed on, evidentially and otherwise, or the memoranda has no evidential value, which means the 'private information' didn't exist.

            Anyway, the point is that Simon's reversal of my words, which you endorsed as spot on, isn't accurate because I am not directly making any case for the 'private information' or the memoranda, but you are making a case for one or both of those (you're never clear) being unsafe and, crucially, not worth the paper it's written on. In short, you have reached a conclusion, I haven't. You have yet to present a coherent and remotely persuasive case.

            In fact, Trevor, what you appear to be arguing is that the memoranda contains errors, which we've known about worried about for almost half a century, so you're hardly making an original argument, and you are trying to suggest that the errors and questions you've highlighted call the 'suspect' information into doubt. But what you consistently fail to address, for example, is that the errors about Druitt, such as Macnaghten calling him a doctor instead of a teacher, have no bearing on the reality of 'private information' implicating Druitt being received, or that the lack of Kosminski's forename doesn't mean there weren't 'many circs' that made him a good suspect.




            Comment


            • Isn't it possible that the serious trouble at school and subsequent dismissal was simply that Druitt had been absent for over a week (possibly a month) with no explanation?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                Yes. What I was trying to demonstrate is that a lot of "what ifs" are possible, so there's no reason to presume any particular one of them. However, just because we don't know what it is doesn't mean there wasn't something passed on to McNaughton, but at the same time, it might also have just been a bunch of dirty photos or some other such thing that really would not tie him to the JtR murders. It's so wide open in terms of possibilities, I really can't see a safe way forward unless other evidence comes to light.

                - Jeff
                Hi Jeff,

                I think your scenario is well imagined and perfectly possible. It might have been enough to alarm Druitt's family and make them jump to disturbing conclusions. But personally, if I was Macnaghten I'd want something much, much stronger to convince me that this man was Jack the Ripper. For me, the "private information" must have contained something more direct - a history of violence against women, bloodstained clothing, spotted hanging around the East End, something like that. According to Macnaghten's own account, it was also evidence that gained greater significance over time - but what that might have been, I struggle to imagine.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                  Yes. What I was trying to demonstrate is that a lot of "what ifs" are possible, so there's no reason to presume any particular one of them. However, just because we don't know what it is doesn't mean there wasn't something passed on to McNaughton, but at the same time, it might also have just been a bunch of dirty photos or some other such thing that really would not tie him to the JtR murders. It's so wide open in terms of possibilities, I really can't see a safe way forward unless other evidence comes to light.

                  - Jeff
                  Jeff,
                  I would suggest that the 'private information' implicating Druitt (perhaps coupled with the results of an investigation, if there was one) was rather more serious than the equivalent of some dirty photos. Whatever that evidence was, it was sufficient to convince Macnaghten that Druitt was Jack the Ripper - and for him to remain convinced until he retired and, presumably, until he died. A lot therefore depends on an assessment of Macnaghten, particularly regarding how quickly he reached conclusions and how impressionable he was.

                  Comment


                  • Sorry. Andrew beat me to it.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                      The terms "What if`s"/"Maybe`s", and "I think" all form a big part of modern day Ripperolgy and they do more harm than good

                      www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                      How can you discuss a 130 year old unsolved without them? The problem is not the use of these words but unwarranted over-confidence and wish thinking.
                      Regards

                      Herlock






                      "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact!"

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
                        Isn't it possible that the serious trouble at school and subsequent dismissal was simply that Druitt had been absent for over a week (possibly a month) with no explanation?
                        Itís very possible Joshua.
                        Regards

                        Herlock






                        "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact!"

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by PaulB View Post

                          Trevor,
                          The memoranda is evidence of what Macnaghten believed as of February 1894, it is evidence that he believed there were 'many circs' which made Kosminski a good suspect, it is evidence that he believed there was 'private information' implicating Druitt, and it is evidence that Macnaghten was persuaded by that 'private information' that Druitt was Jack the Ripper. So if the memoranda has no evidential value and isn't worth the paper it's written on, what does that say about the reality of the 'private information'?

                          If there was private information implicating Druitt, then Druitt was a suspect (in the non-police jargon sense). And since you have absolutely no idea what the 'private information' was, you can't even begin to judge it's worth, and if you don't know whether it was good or bad evidence or not, you can't say it's undafe to rely on or worthless.

                          So what are you saying? Either the 'private information' implicating Druitt existed and Macnaghten really believed Druitt was Jack the Ripper, in which case the memoranda is worth the paper it's printed on, evidentially and otherwise, or the memoranda has no evidential value, which means the 'private information' didn't exist.

                          Anyway, the point is that Simon's reversal of my words, which you endorsed as spot on, isn't accurate because I am not directly making any case for the 'private information' or the memoranda, but you are making a case for one or both of those (you're never clear) being unsafe and, crucially, not worth the paper it's written on. In short, you have reached a conclusion, I haven't. You have yet to present a coherent and remotely persuasive case.

                          In fact, Trevor, what you appear to be arguing is that the memoranda contains errors, which we've known about worried about for almost half a century, so you're hardly making an original argument, and you are trying to suggest that the errors and questions you've highlighted call the 'suspect' information into doubt. But what you consistently fail to address, for example, is that the errors about Druitt, such as Macnaghten calling him a doctor instead of a teacher, have no bearing on the reality of 'private information' implicating Druitt being received, or that the lack of Kosminski's forename doesn't mean there weren't 'many circs' that made him a good suspect.



                          In short without wanting to keep going over the same things time and time again, whatever MM information was it was at best third hand, so that raises questions marks about its content and it authenticity, and it is hearsay !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          So lets deal in facts as we know them and not what we think happened or could have happened as you appear to be doing.

                          There is no record of him telling any other persons about his suspect information.
                          There is nothing in writing or in any police records to support what he says about his information on Druitt
                          There is no record of him making any attempt to investigate what he was told.

                          On that basis Druitt is not a suspect but simply a person of interest along with the many others that are on the main suspect list and are there because of uncorroborated statements have been made about them over the years

                          Comment


                          • From Days of my years - ďAs I have said before, when writing of the Whitechapel murders, such madness takes Protean forms. Very few people, except barristers, doctors, and police officers, realize that such a thing as sexual mania exists, and, in a murder case similar to the two mentioned above, it is a most difficult task for prosecuting counsel to make a jury fully understand that it supplies and accounts for the complete absence of any other motive for the crime.

                            Students of history, however, are aware that an excessive indulgence in vice leads, in certain cases, to a craving for blood. Nero was probably a sexual maniac. Many Eastern potentates in all ages, who loved to see slaves slaughtered or wild beasts tearing each other to pieces, have been similarly affected. The disease is not as rare as many people imagine. As you walk in the London streets you may, and do, not infrequently jostle against a potential murderer of the so-called Jack the Ripper type. The subject is not a pleasant one, but to those who study the depths of human nature it is intensely interesting.í

                            Sexual mania therefore means to gain erotic pleasure from either witnessing or causing acts of ultra-violence and/or death.

                            It seems to me that Mac is saying here that Druitt was possibly into some form of sadism. Whether that would be against boys at the school is open to interpretation.

                            Regards Darryl

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                              How can you discuss a 130 year old unsolved without them? The problem is not the use of these words but unwarranted over-confidence and wish thinking.
                              You stick to the evidence and the facts and remove the wild speculation that is rife in ripperolgy

                              www.trevormarriott.co.uk

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                                In short without wanting to keep going over the same things time and time again, whatever MM information was it was at best third hand, so that raises questions marks about its content and it authenticity, and it is hearsay !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                So lets deal in facts as we know them and not what we think happened or could have happened as you appear to be doing.

                                There is no record of him telling any other persons about his suspect information.
                                There is nothing in writing or in any police records to support what he says about his information on Druitt
                                There is no record of him making any attempt to investigate what he was told.

                                On that basis Druitt is not a suspect but simply a person of interest along with the many others that are on the main suspect list and are there because of uncorroborated statements have been made about them over the years
                                If you don't want to go over the same things over and over again, and none of us do, try to understand this: Macnaghten's information is not under discussion - it can't be, because we don't know what it was. Whether or not his information was second-, third-, or fifth-hand, you're not dealing with it. You are dealing with a first-hand statement by Macnaghten that there was 'private information' and that after giving it full and careful consideration, he was inclined to believe that Druitt was the murderer. That isn't hearsay. And it doesn't raise any doubts about the content and authenticity of the information.

                                Let me try to make this clear: you have a witness who says, "yes, I received information implicating Druitt." And, "yes, after carefully considering the evidence I concluded that Druitt probably was the murderer." Those are first-hand statements, not hearsay.

                                'There is no record of him telling any other persons about his suspect information' - so what? Are you saying that the 'private information' didn't exist? Are you saying that Macnaghten didn't conclude that Druitt could have been the murderer? If you're not saying that, and just a few post back you denied saying that the 'private information' didn't exist, then it happened and either Macnaghten didn't tell anybody or we don't have a record of him telling them (but he made no secret of it, he refered to it in the memoranda for a start!)

                                'There is nothing in writing or in any police records to support what he says about his information on Druitt' - Pretty much the same as above. Either the information implicating Druitt was received or it wasn't. If it was received and if Macnaghten believed it, both of which he says is true, the records are simply missing.

                                'There is no record of him making any attempt to investigate what he was told' - so, either he didn't investigate, which does indeed raise questions, or he did investigate and the records don't exist. And with so much of the files having gone missing over the years, including every suspect file, it's quite likely that anything pertaining to Druitt was among them.

                                Finally, if you can refrain from using police jargon like 'person of interest' that wasn't a distinction back in the day and isn't used in common parlance, the fact the Macnaghten accepted that the evidence against Druitt was compelling and believed that Druitt probably was the murderer, elevates Druitt above the various people who were suspected because they looked or behaved oddly, uttered threats when drunk, or any one of the assorted other casual reasons. Or you reckon Macnaghten was a dolt who was happy to attach his name and reputation to a suspect against whom there was no evidence - remember, as far as we know the memoranda was prepared for Macnaghten's superiors and political masters, people who could and probably would have asked for the evidence against Druitt. Was Macnaghten so stupid that he'd have volunteered Druitt if the only evidence against him was the coincidence of when he committed suicide? If you do, where's the evidence?

                                You will notice that I am not suggesting any 'think may have happened' or 'could have happened'. I am challenging your reasoning. I'm not speculating. You're saying, 'There is no record of him telling any other persons about his suspect information'. I'm saying, so that means either that the suspect information didn't exist, or it did exist and Macnaghten didn't tell anybody about it, or he did tell people about it an the records don't exist. So, what's your point?

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